So we went to the US and Canada for the holidays. It was a three week trip with long drives, three cities, many new people and no real bed (except for one night <3). E did really well, Marc and I did not do as well.  By my calculations, E met about 80 new people and most of them took a turn holding him. E did so well being passed around as much as he was especially considering how fussy he was for his first two months. I think it is the Attachment Parenting that has made E so calm and confident. At some point during the trip I was telling people that E doesn't cry and he doesn't... anymore. Well, he will cry if we don't acknowledge his earlier forms of communication, but these days he "yells" before he gets upset enough to cry.

Since we have returned home, E has been a lot less easy going then he was on the trip. I think it was part suffering from jet lag, part wanting attention from me that he had been missing because of all the new people and part reacting to the total shake up that we have been doing to our apartment (more on that in a future post), but E totally stopped sleeping in the night, period. We had about a week were he was up from 1am to 4am, and this was a week after arriving home. Ultimately I was really to blame for my baby not sleeping.

I was still submitting to jet lag a bit so we were waking up late in the day. The best way to beat jet lag is to get sun, and we were waking up when the sun was on it's way down (because we're so far north it happens pretty early in the day). When we did get up I would put E down to play on his own because I was reorganizing and cleaning. I was still paying attention to him and in his presence, I just wasn't really engaging with him because I was more worried about things like where to move the dresser and where to put other stuff. Also, we moved our family bed into another room of our apartment. E was yelling a lot when he was playing by himself so I figured he must be hungry or tired and so feeding or putting him to sleep would happen. By the time Marc came home from work though, I was tired from organizing all day. And, E's yelling is seriously a sensory system over loader... a baby in general is, but when he yells all day it just puts me on edge. So I want to hand E off but Marc has things he needs to do, plus we have to make dinner and we've started E on rice porridge so we have to fit feeding him that in to our evening. Oh and every time I give the baby to Marc he is putting him down to play on his stomach and walking away, just like I have been doing all day to him. By the time bedtime comes around E won't sleep for me at all and when Marc gets him to sleep he wakes up when he is put down in his section of the bed. The only night I got E to sleep through was one where I went to bed with him and he used me as a pacifier, so 80 percent of the night he had a boob in his mouth.

It seems so obvious now, but I seriously could not figure it out at the time. I think a lot of parents would sleep train their baby if he was acting like E was. I definitely thought he was staying up because he wanted to play. Plus I started worrying that maybe he should be able to fall sleep without being nursed or held.  The point where I realized I needed some help was when we were lying in bed with E and he was screaming like he was abandoned, holding him wasn't even calming him down. So I went on some Attachment Parenting forums and realized all the little mistakes I was making. E spent three weeks being secure because I concentrated on meeting his needs. I didn't realize it at the time, but when we got home I took the assumed security for granted; I expected the results without doing the work. I can focus on other things, but I need to make sure E's needs are all met first just like I was doing when we were travelling.

The forums recommended a few things but mostly just reinforced the ideas about AP. It was also the first time I had read positive things about a child that needs to nurse to fall asleep. E doesn't NEED it but he does choose to nurse himself to sleep sometimes and I always felt like I should discourage it until now. I also realized while reading the forums that a big problem was trying to get E to sleep in his section of the bed- he wanted to be closer to me and would check for me when he was waking up to make sure I was right there.  While we were travelling he couldn't sleep separately because our sleeping arrangements were smaller and he likes this better, what baby wouldn't? The forums also reminded me about how babies need more attention, affection and attachment as they hit major milestones and E is so close to crawling :)

So thanks to AP and my sweet son I am reminded once again to live in the present and adjust my expectations to it...and also to give a lot more motorcycle-kisses.
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